Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In Praise of Lily and Record Keeping

I promised my dear friend Lily after our trip that I would write about it on the blog.  Lily likewise blogged about the experience at her family blog, which is quite an inspiration for me.  She writes a post every day, complete with pictures and uses her blog as a photo journal.  That style of blogging has always been tempting to me as I am a much faster typist, would love the impetus to regularly pull out my camera, one can do it from any internet-connected machine and no longer need worry about misplacing one's journal, and have always had a love of journaling and family record keeping.

What has kept me from this appealing method is two-fold.  First, by posting it online it would seem I am inviting to the world to read, and yet the content would likely seem boring and lengthy to anyone outside close family and friends.  I spend so much time on Pinterest and lovely, professional blogs that it is hard to put forth for public consumption something that I fully realize is not pin-worthy in the least.  Second, my hesitation to post my personal feelings and experiences to the world.  If I desire to keep that separate, I will have to keep a separate journal which seems tedious and somewhat redundant.  I dislike redundancy, especially when it involves writing by hand.  As a missionary, I always harbored a secret resentment for needing to hand write a letter to the mission president, restating what had been written in several other letters, an email to my parents and my journal.    I am not the type where each retelling of a story is a grander and more perfected account.  Rather, the first account I give I am working out the bugs in my delivery, the second is the best it is going to get, and each subsequent retelling of the story I grow less and less interested and state just the bullet points.

As I looked over Lily's beautiful blog, filled with photographs and accounts of daily life, memories for her little darlings to cherish, and her own personal thoughts and feelings, I was impressed to the point my previous hindrances seem petty and small.  This is where blogging started and is a fulfillment of their original purpose.  As a family friend, getting a glimpse into her daily life was delightful.  Ever since my visit to her blog, I am hounded by a nagging feeling I should be doing something more to capture our lives and my daughter's childhood.  My poor journal has languished for some time in my embroidery bag, where I finally discovered it nearly a year after having lost it.  It seems time passes so quickly, you can either be capturing a bit of it with some notes and photos or not, but it flies by either way.

My conclusion is that daily posts peppered with pictures is the ideal to strive towards.  But what about those who love snuggling under a cozy blanket at the end of the day and writing in a traditional paper journal?  Or those unable or willing to commit to daily posting?  Or how about perfectionist authors-at-heart that worry about daily, unedited posts with content made up solely from their day-to-day lives?  I believe I have the answer!  A weekly recap post solves all.  One can share photos, talk about highlights and the mundane, share some kid stories and quotes.  One can continue to keep private thoughts or experiences in a daily journal (I confess, I don't have much I would wish kept hidden now that my single days and young married days are behind me), yet still have a place where cute pictures, stories, and experiences can be kept for family, friends, and posterity.  It is especially appealing to those of us who have no scrapbooking abilities as there are companies that will take an online blog and transform it into a memory book for your family.

While I am not sure whether I will forever go the daily journal, weekly blog post route or if I will make the switch to daily posts, I believe incorporating blogging will make our family record fuller and more accessible.


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